Transportation Report

Senate to question TSA chief after airplane stowaway

The Senate committee that oversees transportation issues is planning to hold a hearing next week about the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) plans to adapt to new airport security threats. 

The hearing, on April 30, comes as the TSA is facing questions about failing to stop a teenager from stowing away on a flight from San Jose to Hawaii over the weekend. 

The Senate panel said Wednesday that the meeting would "examine the TSA's efforts to implement new procedures to confront the evolving security threats to America’s transportation systems.


House Dem: Airplane stowaway should've been caught

The teenager who stowed away on a flight to Hawaii last weekend should have been caught "as soon as he [was] coming over the fence" of the San Jose Mineta International Airport, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) said in an interview with CNN. 

Swalwell said it was a "remarkable story" that the 16-year-old survived the cold air and lack of oxygen outside of commercial airplanes when they reach cruising altitudes of 30,000 feet of more. 

But Swalwell told CNN's Don Lemon that the incident raises questions about airport security, especially in areas that are only supposed to be accessed by employees, such as runaways and tarmacs. 


JetBlue pilots join union

JetBlue Airways’s pilots have voted to join the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), officials with the union announced this week. 

Seventy-one percent of JetBlue’s pilots voted in favor of joining the ALPA, according to the labor group’s leaders. 

ALPA President Lee Moak said the JetBlue pilots’ decision would help improve working conditions for pilots across the U.S. aviation industry. 


House Dem: Reassess airport security after Calif. stowaway

A House Democrat is requesting a "nationwide assessment of airport perimeter security" after a teenage stowaway was discovered on a flight from San Jose to Hawaii on Monday.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) said the stowaway incident, which involved a 16-year-old bold who snuck into the landing gear of an airplane, showed there were gaps in airport security beyond the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) passenger checkpoints. 

"In September 2009, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report on our nation’s airports and their perimeter security needs. Since then, a number of high-profile perimeter security breaches have occurred at airports across the nation," Swalwell wrote in a letter to U.S. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro that was released on Tuesday.


DOT: Average domestic airfare increased to $381 in 2013

The average amount that was paid by U.S. airline passengers for domestic flights increased to $381 in 2013, the Department of Transportation said Tuesday. 

The transportation department said the 2013 ticket price was 0.1 percent higher than the 2012 average of $380. The agency added that the 2013 figure was 17 percent lower than the 2000 average when the amount was adjusted for inflation, which would've resulted in average ticket price then of $459.

The DOT said the 2013 figure was the highest average airfare amount not adjusted for inflation since the DOT began collecting fare data in 1995. 


Renewable fuel ads target oil industry

A group supporting renewable fuels is launching an ad campaign accusing the oil industry of “rigging the system” to stifle competition from renewable fuels.